Bespoke influences

A warm welcome to this month’s Rise of the Roost. We’ll be catching up on the renovation project so far at home as well as venturing a little further afield giving my nosy readers an insight into our client’s homes as they undergo their exciting transformation.  We’ll also be looking into another vintage side project and have a gander into a gallery of inspiration with my featured article Bespoke Carpenter Cupboards.

Through the keyhole – renovating for clients

Its always hard to resist when the husband asks me (pleads) if I would be his assistant for a two day decorating job. What more do I love than doing my own renovation? yes that’s right – Other people’s renovation!  – in this case our clients had given up on doing the job themselves so called in the experts – naturally meaning us (flicks hair and pouts)

The white house at the lower end of this road is a former converted village shop, nestled in a sleepy village in the heart of Wiltshire. Surrounding cottages all hold their quirky past in subtle details that have remained. I love this neighbouring blue door with old script writing above referring to a Mr Leonard Button – the village cider maker. The village consists of only a few houses, each adored with the affection of being lovingly restored.


Once inside the cottage, the owners proudly stated that the reception/lounge was the last room to be completed having worked tirelessly to restore the house from the brink of disrepair. It was obvious that the rest of the house had been finished to a high standard.  The owners were exhausted of their project so hoped we could resolve the damp issues, redecorate and finally use the room as intended. We set to work immediately.


Above – Jason undertaking the painstakingly tricky removal of wallpaper without harming the delicate plaster behind. Some of the old stone behind the plaster had crystallised with damp so there was some small repair work before he could cover with fresh wallpaper.


Behind the wallpaper revealed a stunning layer of crackled Cobalt blue paint in a brick formation, reminding me of some ancient fresco I had once seen in a National Trust Chapel. Jason applied heavy duty wallpaper to the walls…meanwhile I tackled the other end of the room which was an easier task of painting…

undergoing a makeover-facelift

Decorating aside there were many inspirational delights in this splendid house. At times I wondered if everything in it had been dressed from scratch for a magazine shoot. A Turn-Key property brimming with gorgeous well appointed objects. Styled and prepared as if everything in it had been bought on the same day for someone to walk into its lavish lifestlye. It was a topsy-turvy house; living room on the middle floor as you enter, the kitchen and 2nd lounge in the basement and a spacious top floor with two bedrooms and a bathroom. The best part of the house for me was the basement lounge with an entire wall of beautifully made bespoke carpenters cupboards and shelves.

I love how these custom made shelves fill the entire length of this room, providing functional cubby-holes to showcase’s the couples treasures.

Below we see the expertly styled kitchen. Natural tones compliment the surrounding wood and industrialised chrome features.

Below – beautiful industrialised “Architect” range Kettle and toaster set by Dualit




DoggyTailKey holder

Above – A cute idea where to park one’s keys. Below – A wonderful little summer house used to teach young students the piano.


Featured Article – Bespoke Carpenter Cupboards

Utilising the inspirational built-in-cupboard idea at our clients house. The husband got to work measuring our alcoves in the lounge area of our kitchen extension. Of course Jason had carefully styled the design around his precious 55″ curved TV so that took center stage. A week later the result had me proudly standing back, nodding and admiring the change in the room. Finally somewhere to put all our books and loved objects! I am so pleased with the extra storage capacity and how seemless it sinks back into the wall. Enjoy this superb gallery. Another brilliant job by J. Pickard Home improvements


BeforeLivgRmLivgrm After cupboards



Back to more projects at home. The very tall handyman managed to lean across the stairwell and began more wallpaper stripping, uncovering a few unsightly cracks in the walls from years of slight movement. Nothing to worry too much about though…I hope.

This is one area I hate seeing as I pass it a hundred times a day. As soon as you enter the house you’re confronted with a horrible yellow hue, and scarred walls. This project is to be continued…


Freecycle Restoration Project… in progress

For those of you that might be familiar with Freecycle, you will know it’s an ideal platform for getting rid of your stuff as well as picking up the occasional gem. Freecycle is becoming so popular here in the UK that TV presenter Gok Wan is bringing out a new show launching later this year, on how you can literally fill your house  – of crap – for free. I have my reservations about filling an entire house of stuff people can’t be bothered to take to the dump, but one or two decent freebies is acceptable. We collected this large and rather hideous metal trunk from a couple living at a converted church. It has the potential for being a nice…eventually (stick with me people and I’ll prove this to you) and I’m sure it’ll be a useful trunk for the office. But first I have to break down the decoupage barrier between us.

As you can see from the photo, the previous owner loved to dabble in decoupage. Paper birds and flowers had been glued onto a light painted surface then lavishly coated in varnish. I will need to strip this, most likely with a heat gun and then sandpaper as there is a good base of black metal paint underneath. After that?..well I’m kind of out of ideas, so any suggestions would be welcome from you.

You can check in next time to see how that project develops as well as many other exciting renovations…until then that’s all I have. Enjoy your sunny month, chao!

norgstar xxx



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